How the Home Office is clamping down on overstayers via the Banking Sector

The Home Office is introducing measures to make it difficult for illegal immigrants and overstayers to stay in the UK.

One of these measures includes the restriction to access or open current accounts with UK banks or building societies.

Specific measures to clamp down on overstayers and illegal immigrants via Banking Sector

Since 12 December 2014 – banks and building societies cannot open a current account for disqualified persons.

From 30 October 2017, banks and building societies can close or restrict access to an existing bank account to disqualified persons.

From January 2018, banks and building societies in the United Kingdom will carry out immigration checks on more than 70 million current accounts. These checks will be done as part of the extension of the UK Government’s plan to create a hostile environment for illegal immigrants in the UK.

How a person can be disqualified to open or access a current account

The Home Office defines a person as disqualified if they are in the UK, and the person need leave to enter or remain in the UK in terms of the Immigration Act and do NOT have this leave.

This could be due to the following circumstances;

  • Entered the UK illegally, and thus never had leave to enter or remain.
  • Had leave to enter or remain in the UK. This leave has expired (overstayers) or was revoked.
  • An EEA national subject to deportation and has exhausted all rights of appeal.

What to do if you want the query the decision to close your current account

It is possible to query the decision.

You can contact the Home Office by telephone on 0300 123 2241, or visit

Advice from Breytenbachs Immigration to Overstayers

The Home Office hopes that these checks will identify more than 6,000 visa overstayers, failed asylum seekers, and  illegal immigrants.

It is clear that the UK Government is doing its utmost to crack down on illegal immigrants in the UK. Breytenbachs strongly advise that you take all possible measures to not overstay on your UK. Contact us today to discuss a legitimate way to extend your stay in the UK.